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Airbnb Agrees to Acquire HotelTonight in Effort to Expand Booking Options

Airbnb has agreed to acquire HotelTonight for an undisclosed sum. Pictured is an Airbnb listing in San Francisco, which serves as the headquarters of both companies.

SAN FRANCISCO — Airbnb has signed an agreement to acquire HotelTonight, a hotel-booking service focused on making last-minute trips for boutique and independent hotels. The deal will expand Airbnb’s ability to offer hotel listings.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reports that HotelTonight was last valued at $463 million in March 2017. Airbnb expects the transaction to close in approximately 30 days.

San Francisco-based Airbnb, an online lodging company, says the acquisition is part of its mission to create “an end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do and how you get there, all in one place.”

More than 400,000 companies are using Airbnb to help manage their travel, and same-day bookings are now growing twofold year over year, according to Airbnb.

“Welcoming more boutique hotels to our platform will help us deliver on our commitment to make Airbnb for everyone, providing guests the authentic, local experience they have come to expect on every trip,” wrote Airbnb in a press release.

In 2018, Airbnb more than doubled the number of rooms available on its platform in properties that hosts categorized as boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and other hospitality venues like hostels and resorts. Airbnb says that guests have responded well to this increased supply, booking three times as many nights with boutique hotels in 2018 compared with 2017.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is slowly disrupting the hotel sector. According to a study conducted by EHL, a leading institution for hotel management, “Airbnb’s listings do not merely supplement the lodging market, but rather show substitute characteristics in their long-term effects on hotel sales’ patterns.”

The HotelTonight mobile app and website will continue to operate as they do today. Once the acquisition is complete, HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank will report to Greg Greeley, Airbnb’s president of homes, and lead the boutique hotel category. HotelTonight is also based in San Francisco.

Airbnb is valued by private investors at $31 billion and is preparing to go public within the next year. Brian Chesky serves as CEO of the company.

— Kristin Hiller

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